Experts Call For Smarter Solutions To Tackle Distracted Driving

Experts Call For Smarter Solutions To Tackle Distracted Driving

Experts are calling for smarter solutions, such as AI cameras, to be introduced to help tackle the distracted driving issue.

Distracted driving encompasses a range of issues behind the wheel, including most notably the use of mobile phones.

Despite a change in the law in the last couple of years that reflected the way that we use mobile devices, there’s still a big issue with drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel.

The original rules that banned the use of mobile phones only covered using them for calls and messaging, which is how they were used back in 2003.

But as we all know, mobile devices are used for everything from social media to navigation and playing music.

And while the fines and penalties for using a mobile device while driving have increased, the number of fines that have been issued has increased significantly in recent years.

Are Mobile Phones A Big Road Safety Issue?

There’s no doubt that education and the law change 20 years ago did a great job of improving road safety through fewer people using phones while driving.

But with recent stats showing that the number of fixed penalty notices for using a phone has decreased from 162,400 in 2011 to 19,700 in 2022, there is a valid question to ask…

Is enough being done to tackle distracted driving?

Experts are arguing that while the reduction in fines is a natural result of the law and how long it’s been in force, the reality is that many people who use a mobile device while driving simply aren’t being caught.

A recent study found that 93% of drivers have recently witnessed another road user using a mobile phone behind the wheel, which shows that it’s still a significant issue.

Part of the issue is that much of the fines rely on police catching offenders and in recent years, there’s been a 20% reduction in the number of dedicated traffic police on the roads.

That has fed into the fact that half of all motorists think it’s unlikely they’ll be caught using a mobile device while driving.

Are AI Cameras A Solution For Distracted Driving?

With the introduction of more cameras and smarter technology on smart motorways and other roads, the question is being asked as to where else new technology can be applied.

The obvious answer is for AI Camera technology to be installed on main motorways and A-roads as a pilot scheme to automatically detect drivers using mobile devices behind the wheel.

Relying on traffic police presence is an unrealistic deterrent in the modern day, so harnessing new technology could be pivotal in the battle for safer roads.

As a reminder, the punishment for being caught driving while using a mobile device is a maximum fine of £1,000 and six points on your licence, while there is also the potential for the punishment to extend to a driving ban.

Now experts are calling for the government and highway agencies to consider implementing more strategic camera enforcement technology to capture those committing driving offences such as using mobile phones while driving.

What do you think of the current mobile phone driving laws – are they strict enough? Could more be done by the government to clamp down on offences through the use of technology? Let us know in the comments below.